But for Waste Management, that rather unpleasant smell is ripe with the opportunity to create renewable energy.
"With garbage, we actually create more energy than the entire solar industry in the United States," CEO David Steiner told CNBC Friday.
Waste Management said it made 9.82 million megawatt hours (mwh) of energy last year. The solar industry generated 9.25 million mwh in 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Waste Management's approach to energy production starts with the decomposition of organic material in hundreds of its landfills across the country.